Ajaokuta: CSO Tackles Former Kogi Deputy Governor, Labels TV Appearance Shameful

In the ongoing discourse surrounding the state of the Ajaokuta Steel Company, a Civil Society Organization (CSO), Integrity Watch, has entered the fray, taking aim at the former deputy governor of Kogi State, Hon. Simon Achuba, and his recent assertions regarding the management of the steel industry.

In a statement issued by Integrity Watch’s Director General, Prince Daniel Maman Musa, the organization expressed disdain over Achuba’s appearance on Arise TV, labeling it as “shameful” and questioning his moral standing to accuse former Governor Yahaya Bello of hindering Ajaokuta’s development.

Achuba, in his interview, accused Bello of thwarting efforts to revive Ajaokuta Steel, alleging personal interests in the company’s operations. He cited instances of bureaucratic interference and alleged mismanagement under Bello’s administration, fueling the controversy surrounding the steel industry’s stagnation.

The Senate’s recent formation of a 10-member ad hoc committee to investigate Ajaokuta’s decline further underscores the gravity of the situation. Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan’s motion, identifying political will and bureaucratic corruption as contributing factors, aligns with Achuba’s claims, adding weight to the calls for transparency and accountability.

However, Integrity Watch rebukes Achuba’s accusations against Bello, asserting that the Ajaokuta Steel issue transcends the state government’s jurisdiction. They highlight historical setbacks dating back to 1983 when Muhammadu Buhari halted the project, emphasizing its exclusive federal mandate. How can Governor Bello, who became Governor of Kogi State on January 27, 2016, be responsible for the Ajaokuta crisis dating back to 1983, when Bello was barely 7 years old? The host of the Arise TV program, Dr. Abati, exposed Achuba’s flaws by asking questions on how he could ridiculously accuse Bello of the challenges surrounding Ajaokuta steel development.

Moreover, Integrity Watch challenges Achuba’s credibility, citing a purported history of corruption and misconduct during his tenure in various positions. They allege Achuba’s dismissal from previous roles, including his service as former Deputy Speaker with the state assembly and as Director-General in the Ministry of Environment under former Governor Idris Wada’s administration. He was said to be found diverting government funds by issuing his personal receipt to collect funds belonging to the Kogi State Government and sacked for gross misconduct and embezzlement, as well as his time as deputy governor where he was also sacked for abuse of office, fraud, and gross incompetence.

In a scathing critique, Integrity Watch portrays Achuba as an unreliable figure, prone to political opportunism evidenced by his frequent party affiliations. They argue that such instability undermines his moral authority to implicate Bello in corruption allegations.

Contrary to Achuba’s claims, Integrity Watch defends Bello’s administration, touting its transparency and accountability in managing state funds. They cite numerous awards received by Bello for good governance and excellent service delivery, challenging Achuba’s narrative of malfeasance within the government.


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